up. In fact, the papers only barely mentioned one or two of the sightings. As they came in, each of the sighting reports went through our
identification process; they were checked against all balloon flights, aircraft flights, celestial bodies, and the MO file, but more than half of them came out as
When the reports first began to come in, I had called the intelligence officers at all of the major military installations in the Southeast unsuccessfully trying to
find out if they could shed any light on the cause of the sightings. One man, the man who was responsible for UFO reports made to Brookley AFB, just outside of Mobile,
Alabama, took a dim view of all of the proceedings. "They're all nuts," he said.
About a week later his story changed. It seems that one night, about the fourth night in a row that UFO's had been reported near Mobile, this man and several of his
assistants decided to try to see these famous UFO's; about 10:00P.M., the time that the UFO's were usually reported, they were gathered around the telephone in the
man's office at Brookley AFB. Soon a report came in. The first question that the investigator who answered the phone asked was, "Can you still see it?"
The answer was "Yes," so the officer took off to see the UFO.
The same thing happened twice more, and two more officers left for different locations. The fourth time the phone rang the call was from the base radar station. They
were picking up a UFO on radar, so the boss himself took off. He saw the UFO in air out over Mobile Bay and he saw the return of the UFO on the radarscope.
The next morning he called me at ATIC and for over an hour he told me what had happened. Never have I talked to four more ardent flying saucer believers.
We did quite a bit of work on the combination radar-visual sighting at Brookley. First of all, radar-visual sightings were the best type of UFO sightings we received.
There are no explanations for how radar can pick up a UFO target that is being watched visually at the same time. Maybe I should have said there are no proven
explanations on how this can happen, because, like everything else associated with the UFO, there was a theory. During the Washington National Sightings several people
proposed the idea that the same temperature-inversion layer that was causing the radar beam to bend down and pick up a ground target was causing the target to appear
to be in the air. They went on to say that we couldn't get a radar-visual sighting unless the ground target was a truck, car, house, or something else that was lighted
and could be seen at a great distance. The second reason the Brookley AFB sighting was so interesting was that it knocked this theory cold.